Originally, when I started this journey, my intentions were to write something every month. I have failed miserably!! But my heart was very, VERY heavy about things in my life and I knew that I had to really dig in and try and fix myself. I am definitely more...settled then I have been in a loooong time. I write here when I am stressed about things. My mind is always battling. I wonder if everyone does that. You think about things...decisions, goals, plans, work, bills, chores, kids, America, heaven, hell, pain, on and on. It is non-stop. Writing on this blog helps me get the madness out for a while until the next war starts raging.
*I say "war" because I don't know how else to describe it. I am not really at battle-but my mind is always full. Writing allows me to dump it all out here...for a moment*
I was visiting with a friend the other day and we were talking about school days. It simply amazes me that here we were...everyday...playing, learning, hanging out. It seemed like we were all on the same page. Same views. Ideas. Liked the same things. We ate together everyday. We saw each other every day. I guess it felt like we were in the same boat because we were learning the same things. As we got into high school and could express ourselves more we seemed to be more divided. As adults...as we sit today...it is crazy to me of how different we truly are as individuals. With Facebook and Twitter we expose ourselves to what we believe. How we feel about things is so evident because we voice our opinions. We "like" things that paint a picture of how we feel, live, and believe. We speak very openly of how we feel about God, guns, abortion, laws, and anything else that we want to discuss at the time.
So in this blog I am going to talk about something that I believe in. God.
I have been down some dark paths in my life. Things that I could tell you would shock some of you. From 1998-2003 I lived a life of pure self-destruction. I was in a pit that most people never come out of in their life. I lived very different from the way I was brought up. I had been raised in a church. The church of Christ. My mama took me every Sunday and Wednesday. If the doors were open any time in between-she took me then too.
But during these years of self-destruction I questioned my faith. I questioned a LOT of things. During these years I gave up on God. I ignored my duty to worship Him. I rejected His authority. Both of my grandmothers died in 2003 and then in that same year I was a witness of my niece, Autumn's birth. Things inside of me changed. So in July of 2003 I changed my life. I started a new walk. I studied things that I had previously questioned. I studied to find answers I had been seeking.
I attended a seminar about Creation vs Evolution. I attended classes about the world. I studied about the history of the bible. The history of the land. The history of the towns where Jesus lived. I wanted to find answers to things I had questioned, doubted, and struggled with over the years. I wanted to develop my own faith, based on what I saw, what I read. Not what someone else taught me or showed me. My life began to change. My heart began to beat again. The monster that raged within me was put to rest.
**I need to say this: this blog today is mainly written for people that believe in God. But you may be reading this as a non-believer. I can't say that I understand that. I can't say that I agree with you. But I can say that I love you. Jesus was a man of love. The bible I believe in commands love before anything.**
So fast forward to 2005. I met Dwayne at Autumn's 2nd birthday party (she has been a part of significant changes in my life). He was a single dad with 2 beautiful children. Becoming a mother was very quick and I had to adjust to a new life. (as we all did) Again, my views started to change about God and what life is about. I developed a more personal relationship with Him. When you are responsible for someone else's soul it changes things for you. It is no longer a solo journey.
The ultimate goal is going to heaven. Heaven and hell are very real. I feel...and I am also told that it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to get to heaven. Is it easy? NO. Life is FULL of issues. Trials. Struggles. Your walk is different from mine. My mountains may seem like valleys to you. In the bible...in James we are told about trials that we will face. Life will never be a breeze.
We are all God's children. If you have children then you can understand how God looks at you. How He sees you. How He loves you. How He forgives you. How He hopes for you. I sometimes think people get so hung up on trying to live a perfect life. We get discouraged. We give up. We feel unworthy. We feel judged. Now we do have standards to live by. We are given guidelines. The bible is what we will be judged by in the end. How we apply what the bible says to our lives will determine our destiny. I am sure that is scary to some people. They hear how Jesus was perfect. They hear how we are to be like Him. How can we be perfect? That is a tall order!!
The purpose of this today is encouragement. If you have been struggling with your relationship with God then listen very closely. God loves you. If you are a parent look at how you feel with your children and replace the roles. You as the child, God as the father (or mother). If you are not a parent...you ARE a child so try and think about your parents-their role in your life. Think of what they expect from you.
If you told your child.."Go clean your room"...they, hopefully, would proceed to clean their room. If you crept down the hall and looked around the corner and you saw them working in that room you would be over-joyed. Depending on the age of your child would determine the level of cleaning that YOU would expect. They probably wouldn't be doing EVERYTHING like you would but it would be the determination...the effort that made the difference. That is EXACTLY how God feels about us!!
Our relationship with God is an individual one. God wants the best. Just like you want that room to be spotless...God wants that for us. Sometimes that is impossible. The effort that you put forth is what matters. Sometimes in our walk we only GIVE 25% but then demand a 100% of RECEIVING the good. If you looked around that corner and saw your child just throwing stuff under the bed we would not be happy with their effort. They can do better. So can we.
Life is hard. We fall. We fail. But we can't give up. The world we live in today is discouraging. Our children will grow up very differently then we did. We are divided on may issues. We see life very differently from each other. But love is everlasting.
Heaven and hell are real. The land Jesus traveled is real. His story is real. There are other books other than the bible that talk about Jesus and confirm His life. God is amazing.
There will be pits. There will be struggles. There will be times when you really want to give up. Believe me...I know. Keep cleaning. Keep trying. Don't give up.